In the seabed, gaseous alkanes are oxidized by syntrophic microbial consortia that thereby reduce fluxes of these compounds into the water column. Because of the immense quantities of seabed alkane fluxes, these consortia are key catalysts of the global carbon cycle. Due to their obligate syntrophic lifestyle, the physiology of alkane-degrading archaea remains poorly understood. We have now cultivated a thermophilic, relatively fast-growing ethane oxidizer in partnership with a sulfate-reducing bacterium known to aid in methane oxidation and have retrieved the first complete genome of a short-chain alkane-degrading archaeon. This will greatly enhance the understanding of nonmethane alkane activation by noncanonical methyl-coenzyme M reductase enzymes and provide insights into additional metabolic steps and the mechanisms underlying syntrophic partnerships. Ultimately, this knowledge could lead to the biotechnological development of alkanogenic microorganisms to support the carbon neutrality of industrial processes.